If you have a LIDL store near you or an equivalent outlet store this may be something you will be interested in. This product is listed as being from a company called PowerfiX and is basically an extra hand with a battery powered LED magnifying glass and soldering iron holder.
The product is packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with the product well packaged inside. The base of the extra hand is cast iron and measures in at 6cm x 6.5cm, this seems to me to provide enough weight and size to keep everything stable. The top surface of the base has a recess in it that would be ideal for placing a piece of heavy duty sponge for cleaning the tip of your soldering iron if used for that purpose. The steel pin upright provides a height of 17cm from the work surface and 7 or 8mm across. The base has a spring type cradle holder for a soldering iron and this can be rotated as required and secured by a screw at the rear of the base plate.
The hands themselves are the one aspect I am not keen on and will be replaced by a set from another product by the same company. My reason for not liking the hands supplied is that they are locked in position on the blocks that fit to the cross member and so cannot be easily angled when required, on the plus side it does allow the hands to be slid close together for small parts to be secured. The centre sets the measurement that the hands can be moved together and in this case it is down to 10mm or as far apart as 12.5cm. The hands will of course work as a heat sink when soldering. The height the arms can be set at is up to the user and remembering that the LED magnifier is set above it.
The magnifier itself measures in at 8.5cm across and has two magnifying settings in it. The lens taken as a whole allows magnification of 2.5 times and there is a smaller area of 2cm across with a magnification level of 5. The LED light source consists of two LEDs which are powered by three AAA batteries. The batteries are supplied in the box, but they are cheap offerings and in my case were dead; so if you pick one of these up think about buying some batteries at the same time.
Costing a whole £5 this is a steal for the modeller and very affordable, especially so when you consider the cost of most forms of lit magnifiers. The compact unit will I believe be a great help to figure painters and armour modellers who solder photo etched parts, while talking of soldering the crocodile clips will also work as heat sinks. I am sure you can all think of many different way this will be of use to you and I highly recommend it if it can be purchased at a reasonable cost.
Highs: The low cost and many uses the product offers make this a great product for the modeller.Lows: I would have liked the crocodile clips to have been provided on a different mount to allow greater positioning abilities.Verdict: If you see one buy it as it will prove of use at some point.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...